Sprinkler System Troubleshooting

Sprinkler System Troubleshooting (12 Tips)

Most homeowners can be intimidated by their irrigation system and immediately call the local landscaping company at the first sign that their sprinkler system needs repairs. Before calling in the experts, review our list of 12 common sprinkler system troubleshooting tips.

Why would a sprinkler system stop working?

A sprinkler system can stop working for many reasons. Most of the time it’s something very simple like the irrigation controller is turned off or has lost its programming due to a power loss or surge.

If you find that the irrigation controller isn’t the culprit, check the city water meter to make sure you have a water supply to the backflow preventer, that the backflow preventer valve handle is set to open and that there’s no standing water in the lawn.

List of other faults to check:

-irrigation controller faulty

-master valve faulty or no voltage

-zone valve faulty or no voltage

-valve control wires broken or cut

-broken irrigation pipe

-sprinkler head clogged or broken

-drip line clogged or cut

Sprinkler System Pressure Loss Gauge

Why did my sprinkler system lose pressure?

The loss of pressure in a sprinkler system is typically due to low city water pressure, faulty backflow preventer, broken pipe, faulty valve or clogged valve.

Why is my irrigation valve box full of water?

An irrigation valve box can hold water after a heavy rain or when a valve, pipe or fitting is leaking. If the valve box is always full of water and you have ruled out irrigation leaks, check to make sure your French drain pipe isn’t clogged, if you have one.

Sprinkler System Leaking

Can a sprinkler system leak when off?

Yes, water can still leak in a sprinkler system when it’s turned off if the backflow preventer or valves develop a leak.

It’s important to fix sprinkler system leaks before they affect your home foundation, landscaping plants, concrete footings under stonework and sod grass.

What happens if a sprinkler solenoid goes bad?

A bad sprinkler valve solenoid can cause water to leak out of sprinkler heads if stuck open or obstruct water to sprinkler heads if stuck closed.

It will be quite difficult to properly care for your sod grass, so you should have the solenoid repaired as soon as possible.

How do you manually turn on a sprinkler valve?

You can activate a sprinkler valve manually by turning the valve solenoid or bleeder screw about a half turn to pass water through the valve.

Broken Sprinkler Pipe

How do I know if my sprinkler line is broken?

A loss of pressure to sprinkler heads or standing water in the lawn is a good indication that a sprinkler line might be broken.

Sprinkler System Shut-Off Valve Box

Where is the sprinkler shut off valve located?

Most new homes in the North Dallas area have a backflow preventer or sprinkler shut off valve near the city water meter or sometimes in the front yard flower bed.

Can I turn off a sprinkler head? 

Yes, a sprinkler head can be turned off with the flow adjustment screw on the nozzle or by removing the head and capping the pipe that feeds it.

How do I turn off my irrigation system for the winter?

If you need to turn off your irrigation system for the winter you can simply set the controller to off or set the backflow preventer or sprinkler shut off valve handle to the off position.

Why won’t my sprinklers pop up?

A sprinkler head can fail to pop up for several reasons such as a clog, leaky pipe, faulty valve, loss of pressure to name a few.

Does each sprinkler zone have its own valve?

Yes, each sprinkler zone should have its own valve.

If these troubleshooting tips haven’t helped you solve your irrigation problem, they should at least allow you to have an educated conversation with any irrigation technician you call to the rescue.

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